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The Oracle

Weekly MIAC round-up, March 8

Josh Dungan, Sports Editor

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Baseball

vs. UW-Stout, 2-1 W, 1-6 L

The Pipers headed indoors for their first “home” games of the season as they took on the University of Wisconsin-Stout inside U.S. Bank Stadium. The Pipers earned a second consecutive doubleheader split as they won the first game 2-1 but fell in the second game 1-6.

“The biggest positives to me are that we have now won two one-run games,” Head Coach Jim Weyandt said. “In the MIAC, the league is so deep that you play a lot of close games and you have to figure out a way to win those games. I think we’ve done that with our first two wins.”

The schedule inside of U.S. Bank Stadium is busy, which meant the Pipers were pushed into the 9:30/11:45 p.m. slots for their doubleheader. Not the most optimal time to play baseball, but the Pipers will take what they can get now that they are able to play indoor baseball again.

“It’s great to have indoor baseball back,” Weyandt said. “From a scheduling standpoint it’s a huge positive for us. The times you get stuck with are the times you get stuck with.”

In the first of two seven-inning games, the Pipers put together a rally during the sixth and seventh innings and squeaked out a 2-1 victory. Totaling just four hits, the Pipers scored their first run on the strength of a single by senior right fielder Collin Olstad, a walk, a hit batsman and a single by junior center fielder Mitch Benson. The Pipers pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh with a walk, sacrifice bunt, passed ball and sacrifice fly providing just enough offense for the Pipers.

Game two saw the Pipers struggle yet again on offense as they lost, 1-6. The Pipers have thus far scored a total of 11 runs on the season, and their play in both of their game two’s this season has left some bad tastes in people’s mouths.

“Game two the other night is a good example of [needing to play better defense],” Weyandt said. “Defensively we have to play much better than we did in that game. Overall I am pleased, but we have a long way to go.”

Most teams would prefer to not have games like the second game against UW-Stout. Hamline committed four errors, balked a run in and were lucky their pitching bailed them out of a few more runs scoring.

The Pipers scored their lone run in the bottom of the first inning and had just one runner reach third base after.

With six players still looking for their first hits on the season, the Pipers have plenty of work to do before competing at the level they did last year.

“Our offense hasn’t really hit its stride just yet,” Weyandt said. “I’m not overly concerned there because our offensive national rankings over the last three or four years really speak for themselves.”

With six games in the books and 34 to go, the Pipers still have plenty of time to improve. They played two games against Buena Vista (IA) this past Monday, and will be leaving for Arizona on the 16th or 17th of March to play 10 games in the Grand Canyon State.

“In Arizona, we open up against Kalamazoo and Luther, both of whom made the regional tournament last season,” Weyandt said. “It’s a pretty difficult schedule but it was designed that way on purpose. We have a lot of experience and a number of players returning after the second-best season in school history [in regards to wins].”

The Pipers open their Arizona trip on Mar. 17 with a nine-inning tilt against Kalamazoo (MI). Check the Hamline Athletics page for more information on Hamline’s trip to Arizona.

Gymnastics

vs. UW-Oshkosh, 184.625-187.125 L

Hamline’s women’s gymnastics program had their final home meet of the 2017 season when they took on longtime WIAC rival UW-Oshkosh. Hamline won three of the four events, nabbing first place in the vault, uneven bars and the floor, but their chances for a final home win for their seniors fell away as the Titans ran the table on the balance beam and came away with a two and a half point win.

The Pipers won four of the top five spots in vault, three of five in the uneven parallel bars and three of five on the floor. Senior Cate Reynolds placed first and third, respectively, on the vault and uneven parallel bars.

The Pipers wrap their regular season against UW-Whitewater on Mar. 11, then prepare for the WIAC Championships on Mar. 17.

Men’s Track

@ Last Chance Qualifier

it was a quiet day for the Piper men at the Last Chance Qualifier, with just one participant running in an event. Senior Isaac Krause placed second in the men’s 800 meter run, which was the ninth-best time recorded in MIAC competition this season.

Women’s Track

@ Last Chance Qualifier

The women’s track team was a little more active than the men’s side, but only just. They sent sophomores Gabrielle Brown and Anna Futterer to the competition, where they competed in the 60 meter dash and hurdles. Brown placed second in both events and Futterer placed third in both events. Futterer set personal bests in both events, finishing the hurdles in 9.40 seconds and the dash in 8.41 seconds.

Basketball

The men’s basketball team didn’t manage to get very far in the playoffs this year, but they did manage to bring home some hardware anyway. Junior guard Zach Smith was named to the All-MIAC vttSecond Team after a year that saw him become the 16th player in Hamline history to score 1000 points in his career, average 17.3 points per game (fourth in the MIAC) and play 936 total minutes, an average of 36 minutes per game (second in the MIAC).

The women’s team didn’t make the playoffs, but they still received some MIAC recognition. Senior guard Chloe Graves was named to the Honorable Mention list for the third consecutive season. Graves finished second on the Pipers in scoring (11.8 points per game, 16th in the MIAC), second in the conference in minutes played (875) and is Hamline’s all-time leader in assists (357).

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The student news site of Hamline University.
Weekly MIAC round-up, March 8